(Guardian) Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations ”“ the NSA.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology, Young Adults

7 comments on “(Guardian) Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    I hope this guy’s life insurance policy covers death by drone.

  2. Ralph says:

    Unlikely the govt would do that, now that he’s out in the open and presumably no longer has access to more information. (Of course, he could be holding on to additional info as some sort of insurance policy.)

    I suppose he could be kidnapped, bundled up, and returned to the US to stand trial. But, it’s more likely that he will be extradited by due process.

  3. David Keller says:

    What if he has Obama’s college visa, or his Indonesian passport, or a list of the people he emails on incrytpted servers, or his medical records or his transcript from Columbia. Or his birth certificate.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Does the United States have an extradition agreement with the Peoples Republic of China? If not it is hard to see the basis for extradition. The old arrangements with British Hong Kong have now fallen away.

    However, if he does not have permission to stay long term or a residency permit he might well be deported unless someone is prepared to grant him asylum.

    Much will depend on what attitude the Chinese, and through them the Hong Kong authorities take. On the one hand they may take the US slightly more seriously than the Equadorians take us; on the other there was that case recently of a Chinese national who took flight to the US legation in Beijing to the embarrassment of the Chinese authorities.

    Egg on face whatever happens.

  5. Ad Orientem says:

    Hong Kong is an autonomous province of the PRC. And yes, we do in fact have an extremely robust extradition treaty with HK. If I were him I would not have gone there.

  6. Tomb01 says:

    Not to mention HK is extremely expensive. Likely he has no source of income at this point, so hotel expenses (not to mention meals) should suck out his life savings in short order. Unless, of course, someone else is paying for his accommodations…. I have mixed emotions about this guy. I work for IBM and can tell you that pretty much all of the information on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, etc) is pretty much for sale, and the phone records seem to be simple from/to, not the actual call itself, so not really much in the way of ‘private’ data being leaked. On the other hand, I have absolutely no confidence in our US government ability to safequard any information they DO collect, in face I assume anything they collect will eventually be leaked/exposed to the public.

  7. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Certainly some of the civil judgment recognition conventions no longer operated after the handover to Chinese jurisdiction, hence my question as apparently this extradition treaty predates the handover in Hong Kong. but I have no idea what the arrangements for interaction with existing treaties and conventions were made at the handover, or whether they have been subsequently ratified under the new system, or indeed whether nobody has just dealt with the issue. So far it looks as if some extraditions have gone through under the old system but perhaps the point has been dealt with or not taken.

    Even if the extradition treaty is still in operation, it looks like if the Hong Kong courts are so minded they do not have to extradite in ‘political’ cases.

    Indications from those with links with Beijing in Hong Kong suggest that the Chinese authorities just wish this would all just go away.